We’ve already given you the Sporting News 2017 All-Star squad, and now it’s time to hand out the hardware.
Well, the figurative hardware. Some of these choices are no-brainers, and others might help certain players get long-overdue recognition. Anyway, dig in.
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Why he’s here: Remember when Judge hit just .179 in his 27-game MLB debut last season? Or when the Yankees were leaning toward starting Judge in the minors this spring? Feels like a long time ago, doesn’t it? With apologies to a few guys on the Astros having fantastic seasons (George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa), Judge is the easy choice in the AL. He’s been either leading or near the lead of the Triple Crown categories (average, homers, RBIs) all season, and he’s basically carried the Yankees into playoff contention in a season that didn’t have sky-high expectations this spring.
With Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson expected to knock down shots, Harden and Paul can orchestrate the offense, making sure everyone is in the best position to succeed. It may seem sad, but right now decisions teams make have to be judged by whether or not they positioned themselves toward catching the Warriors. Houston probably still wouldn’t beat Golden State in a best-of-seven series, but they certainly have a better chance with Paul.
Game Youth Rob Ninkovich Jersey Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant re-signing with Warriors — This is technically cheating because these two didn’t move anywhere, but Golden State still had to act to bring them back. Curry signed a supermax deal, which will see him wearing yellow and blue for the foreseeable future, while Durant opted to sign a team-friendly two-year deal.